F-gases and ODS (UK Brexit)

I posted before that the UK will regulate Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (F-gases) and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) from 30th March 2019, and that a Technical Notice had been issued on this (the Environment Agency would be the regulator).

New Guidance on Use and Trade is now issued.

The new Brexit Use and Trade Guidance is here. I will add this to the Brexit Law List, in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists.

F-gas and ODS are substances used mainly as refrigerants, but also in other products including:

• medical inhalers

• fire extinguishers

• insulation foams

• solvents

• feedstocks for the manufacture of other chemicals

This affects UK companies that :

• produce, supply, import, export or use bulk F-gas or ODS

• manufacture or import equipment containing F-gas or ODS

In addition, the document applies to the service of :

• commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration and air conditioning systems

• other products containing F-gas or ODS

New UK ODS and Fgas regulations transfer most of the requirements of the EU regulations into UK law. These are found in the Brexit Law List.

The UK will continue to:

• restrict ODS

• use the same schedule as the EU to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons, the most common type of -gas) by 79% by 2030 relative to a 2009 to 2012 baseline.

That means UK F-gas quotas will follow the same phase down steps as the EU:

• limited to 63% of the baseline in 2019 and 2020

• reducing to 45% of the baseline in 2021

Most of the rules for F-gas and ODS will not change. However, the UK will have separate quota systems, and the IT systems UK businesses use to manage quotas and report on use will change.

UK companies will need to comply with EU regulations on products they place on the EU market after exit (since after 30 March, the UK will be a ‘third country’).

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all decided to remain part of a single, UK-wide system if the UK leaves the EU with no deal on 29 March 2019.

The Environment Agency will administer the systems for the whole of the UK.


When the UK leaves the EU, many of the rules for F-gases will not change, including requirements or restrictions:

• to prevent intentional release of F-gases

• to prevent the unintentional release of F-gases during production and use

• to minimise and repair leakages

• to check leaks and keep records

• to use leakage detection systems

• to provide evidence that trifluoromethane produced during the production of F-gases has been destroyed

• to recover F-gases from equipment for recycling, reclamation or destruction

• on placing certain products and equipment on the market

• on sales of F-gases to businesses which do not hold the relevant certificates or attestations

• for product and equipment labelling

• on the use of certain F-gases for magnesium die-casting, vehicle tyres or servicing certain refrigeration equipment

Requirements in the UK will also not change on:

• the individual qualifications and company certifications you need to install, service, maintain, repair, decommission or check for leaks in certain equipment or the recover F-gas

• the content and requirements of training and certification programmes

• the validity of existing certificates and training attestations, including those issued by EU member states both before and after the UK leaves the EU.


When the UK leaves the EU, the rules will stay the same for ODS that a UK company :

• imports

• supplies

• uses

• recovers

• destroys

UK companies will have the same responsibilities to:

• maintain equipment

• control leaks

Rules on how a UK company supplies and uses ODS will remain the same, including for:

• feedstock

• process agents

• destruction

• reclamation

• essential laboratory and analytical use

• halons for certain critical uses

NOTE : the above is written for the situation “post 30 March if there is no deal in place”. This is a short hand. Please keep following the Blog for updates.

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